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MacDragard
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15 Dec 2012, 1:32 am

I personally am turned off by CG animation, and I'm appalled at the fact that every animated movie and almost every animated TV show is CG. Back when it first came out however with movies like Toy Story and shows like Beast Wars (and games like Donkey Kong Country if that counts), I thought it was awesome. It was something new and it looked cool. Now it's done so often that it's very difficult for me to get into such movies, especially considering how cheesy and stupid the movies look. This is true moreso with Dreamworks movies like Over The Hedge and whatever that weird movie is with the yellow things wearing overalls. I'm sure there are some CG movies out there that are really great and I'm just judging them by the stupid and obnoxious trailers, but I feel like it's as if 1) Said movies are targeted only towards little kids, unlike older animated movies which were made to be enjoyed by people of all ages, and 2) Animation companies like Disney are just finding ways to cut costs and hire a bunch of fatass digital media nerds in place of real artists.

Now I know CG animation can look really good when done right. Just look at video games for example. The animation in some games like Final Fantasy is just spectacular, and I feel like if companies like Disney only made their animation this good when they decide to release films, I would be more open-minded towards their newer films. Right now, it's like I'm begging and hoping that Disney releases a new 2D-animated film that is much like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc. I had high hopes after Disney released Princess and the Frog, which was a great movie appealing to the older generations of Disney movie watchers. Sadly, I haven't seen such a movie be released since.

CG isn't just a problem in fully-animated films though; just look at the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Just about every scene is done in a room with blue screen or green screen, which makes it look fake and awful. I mean, even the clone troopers are wearing uniforms that are CGed. What happened to the days of models? Those actually looked real!



Chevand
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15 Dec 2012, 3:26 am

Trust me, I understand completely how you feel. I spent the first three years of my time as a college student at an art school with a very well-respected computer animation department. It was my major. Day in, day out, I was instructed by ex-Dreamworks and ex-Pixar and ex-Disney animators (these were the days before Disney had officially merged with Pixar), and the curriculum was designed to assimilate aspiring animators into the Dreamworks-Pixar-Disney commercial animation fold. Me, I didn't set out to be that. I took my main inspiration from more experimental stuff-- work from Mainframe Studios in the 80s, and Paul Sims, and more recently the CGI collaborations between Adam Jones and Alex Grey for Tool videos. I could see computer animation was a very powerful artistic medium and I greatly respected its potential-- but the mainstream film industry has such a chokehold on the usage of the medium, and such a specific niche which it has mandated that studios must satisfy, that I never really got the chance to exercise my full creativity. I was expected to churn out the same old stuff-- either kid-friendly animations, or special effects to enhance live-action films. That's the choice I was given, and no other options. So I quit, and I became a fine artist instead.

After three years of being spoonfed Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc., I was so burnt out on CGI movies. I lost interest in watching anything Pixar or Dreamworks entirely. The entire time, even before I changed paths, I was griping about most of the same complaints as you are. The work the studios have been producing for years is not really the work I would hope for. It's all gimmick-driven-- 3D viewing, and remakes, and CGI, of course, is the biggest gimmick of them all now. I can't say it's because the studios are suddenly driven by money, because really, studios have always been driven by money. They're businesses too, and they have to run themselves like they are. I get that. The problem, it seems to me, is that increasingly, the studio culture is detached from its artistic responsibilities and dominated by a status quo that considers experimentation and taking risks as anathema. It isn't true of every studio, of course, but it's true of enough of them that the market gets totally saturated with movies that use CGI as a crutch.

I know it's wishful thinking, but I seriously want to see less Michael Bay, and more stuff like these:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUXBCdt5IPg[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j98KD5E5KDs[/youtube]


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Xenophilia
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15 Dec 2012, 3:29 am

I hate it too. Animation is so dehumanized these days, without the hand-drawn touch. I especially hate the video game looking movies, like Polar Express. So very ugly to me. My favorite cartoon movie is Fantastic Planet. I wish they looked that authentic these days.



JBlitzen
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18 Dec 2012, 2:06 am

I can think of some movies that use CGI to tell an amazing story that couldn't otherwise be told.

Offhand, let's go with these (all titles are links):

Monsters (Not Monster or Monsters, Inc.)

Take Shelter

Another Earth

Knowing

District 9

Those are very artistic and mature movies, with extremely compelling themes and bold, strident, and passionate direction. They tell stories that could not be told without CGI; not on their budget.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

These two are slightly less artistic but are very boldly CGI, and really pushed the technology to what at the time were its limits. Both are fun to watch and not without significant quality.

I think the problem is that you see CGI in a lot of sh***y movies. Because, very simply, a lot of movies are sh***y, particularly in the big budget arena where production companies are reluctant to take risks with large sums of money. With Pixar as an exception, movies like WALL-E and Up are just amazing.

But Dreamworks? Haha.

[img][800:1024]http://www.dogtheblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/pixar_dreamworks.jpg[/img]